RUSSIA & CHINA: STRONG TIES
Russia seeks an acceleration of its business ties with China. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev suggested on Monday that the two countries could soon reach an agreement on a second pipeline.
"We would like to come to an agreement in the next year," Medvedev commented during the 19th Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government of Russia and China. Russia's PM referred to the Western Route, which would be the second pipeline connecting the countries after the Power of Siberia. According to some reports, the second pipeline would deliver almost the same amount of gas - around 30 bcm, compared to 38 bcm to be delivered by the Power of Siberia.
Medvedev met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, indicating that Moscow is seeking an intensification of ties to minimise the consequences of Western sanctions.
"Over the past six years, bilateral trade has more than doubled from $40 to $90 billion. But we have more important goals ahead," Medvedev said in a note.
Meanwhile, Rosneft and CNPC strengthened cooperation.
'The agreement envisages elaboration of current and potential strategic cooperation areas . The document also foresees the fueling of a deeper collaboration in these areas. In particular, the parties intend to proceed with Upstream projects in the Russia, refinining in China (Tianjin Refinery) and other venues of cooperation,' reads a statement published by Rosneft on Monday.
Some other reports suggested that the Power of Siberia might suffer delays. A clearer picture could come out of the talks between Vladimir Putin and China's Keqiang on Tuesday.
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REUTERS - Brent LCOc1 futures fell 43 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $79.14 a barrel by 0218 GMT, after climbing 35 cents on Tuesday. Last week, the global benchmark hit $80.50 a barrel, the highest since November 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures eased 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $71.95 a barrel, having climbed on Tuesday to $72.83 a barrel, the highest since November 2014.
FT - Most oil majors can now cover dividends and capital expenditure at prices around $50 per barrel, meaning that, at $80, they make a healthy surplus.
EIA - The United States remained the world's top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2017, reaching a record high. The United States has been the world's top producer of natural gas since 2009, when U.S. natural gas production surpassed that of Russia, and the world's top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013, when U.S. production exceeded Saudi Arabia’s. Since 2008, U.S. petroleum and natural gas production has increased by nearly 60%.
PLATTS - China became the largest contributor to global LNG consumption growth in 2017. It surpassed South Korea as the world's second largest LNG importer and its share of global LNG demand is expected to converge with that of Japan by 2030.